Epistles of Thomas

August 19, 2009

1 Kings 13-15

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 15:19
Tags: , , , , ,

In chapter 13 a prophet spoke against King Jeroboam’s altar and proclaimed doom on it. The king attempted to have the prophet seized but his hand shrivelled up demonstrating that you should not attack the messenger. This prophet was tested on his way home and he turned aside from following the word of the Lord and was eaten by a lion. This indicates the seriousness of God and of those who speak on his behalf. As 13:33 makes clear, “Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places.”

Jeroboam still required the services of God’s prophets however. His son Abijah became ill and he sent his wife in disguise to Ahijah to enquire as to his son’s fate. Ahijah knew she was coming and proclaimed that as soon as she returned home the boy would die and so it happened. It is interesting which events are recorded in the Bible. It is obvious that the compiler was very selective as it is often stated that more information can be found elsewhere: “The other events of Jeroboam’s reign, his wars and how he ruled, are written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel” (14:19). What would OT scholars give to be able to read those annals?

Meanwhile in Judah things were going just as bad. “They also set up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites” (14:23f). God’s protection left his people and in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, the Egyptian pharaoh Shishak invaded and took all the temple treasures. That God allowed the temple to be violated and the people did not see this as a cause to repent speaks volumes about their relationship with God. Throughout this period the northern and southern kingdoms were too busy fighting one another to fight the indifference and sin which had invaded their promised land.

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